Friday, December 26, 2008

Tables of Joy

The holiday season will never be long enough. Arrives on a quick, cold breeze and seems to be gone before I can even consider being entirely pleased with the decorating, inviting, entertaining, and correspondence. Today I told myself I would start in October next year instead of early November. I am anticipate that too will not been soon enough; there are good reasons the magazine and apparel industries work a year ahead: But oh, all the greatness that could be conceived if there were nothing but a perpetual Christmas season for me. I could reach a whole new level of compulsiveness if I never had to stop for another holiday. But I fear guests at the summer solstice party will be put out by Christmas wreaths. In this quirky little corner of the world, however, if you do these odd things for may years in a row while wearing pants with embroidered hounds on corduroy, you become "eccentric" which is far better than, "weird" and a good deal more esteemable than, "cooky." Not, that anyone here in eccentric North Salem misses the party if you are weird or cooky, they just spend a good deal more time remarking on your nuttiness at the post office, Kingsley's, and church.

Alright. But anyhow, Pals of mine. You're here for the goods and while I was largely not cooking this holiday, I made careful notes...

Christmas Eve at my Mother's lovely home was lovely. We do not keep a feast of Seven Fishes but we have traditionally dined on seafood regardless. This was the menu:

Before dinner cocktails in the kitchen:
Egg Nog with Dark Rum
Champagne and Chambord Cocktails
Truffled Mousse with Cornichon
Sopresseta, Cheeses, Crackers, and Breadsticks

Christmas Eve Dinner:
Potted Crab
Steamed Lobster with Drawn Butter
Clams and Mussels in White Whine Broth
Baked Haddock
Panzanella (Tomato Bread Salad)
Triple Chocolate Mousse

Fresh flowers and crackers for the place settings are important to our family tables.
Had we remained in the South on this evening, we would have overflowing bowls of camellia.

The potted crab was only okay, I took this suggestion from another blogger. While it was easy and full of wonderful lump crabmeat, it was not the prettiest or the most time-forgiving when it takes the guests a few minutes to get to the table.

The dishes selected for the drawn butter await await being filled in the kitchen before dinner.

The triple-chocolate mousse is my favorite nostalgic dessert from celebratory and birthday dinners with my family at Crabtree's Kittle House in nearby Mt. Kisco, New York. I will discuss the recipe at Blushing Hostess tomorrow but be advised, when using this method one needs to account for at least a solid hour of time for the dessert to come to room temperature. The dark chocolate layer at the bottom was still a bit harder and colder than I would have liked.

But on the whole, served with melba sauce, it was a delicious, rich, and a stunner.

And this is the Christmas Day dinner table at me sister-in-law Kelly's home last night. Such a grand evening. While I want to recount all of the food to you very accurately, I know I was able to make limited strides in trying all the hors d'oeuvres but they looked fabulous.

Hors d'oeuvres
Sauteed chorizo and mini-crostini
Bread boule with spinach dip
An extensive cheese selection
Cherry Tomatoes with Crab

Prime Rib au Jus
Fresh Pork Roast
Braised Carrots and Green Beans
Pan roasted New Potatoes and Glazed Onions
Chocolate Chip Cake and Whipped Cream
Assorted Pastries

1 comment:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I loved the Kittle House ... went there a couple of times in a former life and loved it madly.